Sleep is valuable. If you don’t get a full, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you get up cranky and groggy, an undesirable feeling that takes several cups of coffee to stave off. So when your hearing loss began causing you to have insomnia, you were aghast.
And that’s justifiable. But there’s something that can help, luckily: a hearing aid. Based upon the latest surveys and research, these tiny devices can probably help you sleep sounder.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Sleep?
Recently, you’ve noticed yourself tossing and turning more than normal, battling fatigue all day regardless of how much sleep you get, and then having a difficult time falling asleep at night (even though you’re exhausted). All of these issues began about the same time you also started to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming hard to hear.
It’s not your imagination as it turns out. It’s well documented that individuals who have hearing loss often have a difficult time falling asleep, but precisely why is not well recognized. There are, naturally, a handful of theories:
- As you develop hearing loss, your brain begins straining, it’s looking for inputs from your ears where none exists. If your brain is in high gear trying to hear while you’re trying to sleep, your overall cycle could be disrupted (It’s the typical problem of not being able to get the brain to shut off).
- You can be kept awake by tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming sounds in your ears. (Lack of sleep can also make your tinnitus worse, which can then cause stronger insomnia, it’s a vicious cycle).
- Hearing loss is related to depression, and your sleep cycle can be disrupted by chemical imbalances as a result of depression. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Can Your Sleep be Improved by Wearing Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 59% of people who were hearing aid wearers described feeling content with their sleep, compared to a 44% satisfaction rate in people who don’t use hearing aids. So does that imply it’s safe to suppose hearing assistance devices are also a type of sleep aid?
Not really. If you don’t have loss of hearing, a hearing aid can’t cure insomnia.
But if you are suffering from hearing loss, your hearing aids can manage numerous issues that may be worsening your insomnia:
- Strain: Your hearing aids will essentially diminish the burden on your brain. And when your brain isn’t continuously straining to hear everything around you, it’ll be less likely to continue that practice when you’re attempting to sleep.
- Isolation: If you’re out on the town, connecting with the people in your social sphere, you’re not as likely to feel isolated and depressed. Hearing aids make retaining relationships easier (sleep cycle problems that cause “cabin fever” can also be lessened).
- Tinnitus: Hearing aids might be a practical treatment for that buzzing or ringing, depending on the nature of your tinnitus. This can help stop that vicious cycle and help you get some sleep.
Wearing Hearing Aids to Get a Better Quality Sleep
With regards to sleep, how many hours isn’t the only thing to consider. To be sure that your sleep can be actually rejuvenating, you need to reach a certain level to your z’s. Hearing loss can work against that deep sleep, and hearing aids, as a result, can improve your ability to achieve restful sleep.
it should be pointed out that even though they’ll help better your sleep, the majority of hearing aids are not meant to be used overnight. When you’re sleeping they aren’t going to help your hearing (you won’t be able to hear your alarm clock more clearly, for instance). And, after a while, using your hearing aids at night can diminish their effectiveness. You get deeper sleep if you use them during the day.
Go to Bed!
Sleep is precious. Ample sleep can keep your immune system in fighting shape, reduce stress levels, and help you think more clearly. A decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes have also been linked to healthy sleep habits.
When your hearing loss begins to affect your sleep schedule, the problem becomes more than irritating, insomnia can often become a serious health issue. Luckily, people document having better quality sleep when they use hearing aids.